[TNG] Season 4, Episode 11: Data’s DayRating: 3
Data’s Day is the type of Star Trek episode that’s mostly a character study/day-in-the-life type episode, with a b-plot thrown in to try and spice things up and help bring the episode to a conclusion. This is one of the better attempts at synthesizing the two threads. Partially because the b-plot isn’t just “Somethings space-wrong and then at the end someone space-fixes it” but a diplomatic murder-mystery, even if it’s kind of an obvious one. More importantly, the b-plot informs the a-plot in a much better, more natural way than usual.
I’ve stated before that I wish there were more character focused episodes like this, or even episodes where nothing much happens in the traditional science fiction TV sense. Even when stuff is a bit clunky, the character work during this time of TNG is about as good as it gets. It feels nice to spend some time with these characters. I also love it when we get to see normal operations on the ship, which features prominently in this episode. Weddings, babies being born, transporting some delegate, working the night shift, things like this make life on the Enterprise seem more real.
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Data tells O’Brien that Keiko wants to cancel the wedding and he expects O’Brien to be cool with it, ’cause Keiko said it would make her happy.
Then he looks at a Vulcan.
Through out this episode Data expresses the desire to experience human emotions. In the case of the Vulcan ambassador he wonders about intuition. I think the writers did a nice job with the nebulous quality of Data’s humanity. He sees something suspicious, and thinks it would be nice to have a ‘gut feeling’, revealing to the viewer that he does in fact experience ‘gut feelings’ but isn’t able to connect what he’s experiencing with what he thinks he should be experiencing. Later, it seems pretty plain that Data’s suspicion here informs his investigation of the transporter incident.
He tells Geordi that he’s a lunkhead
He goes to some kind of store to ask Worf for advice on getting a wedding gift. Wait what? Why do they need a store? Don’t they have replicators in their quarters? I guess buying stuff is much more social in the future.
Data tries to make things better between Keiko and O’Brien, but she doesn’t want to hear it
Some of Data’s commentary is kind of lame, but I like how he describes some of his relationships. I had always thought Troi would have a different kind of relationship with Data since he doesn’t have emotions, but it hadn’t really been addressed
Crusher teaches Data how to dance. I wish Crusher got to do more fun scenes.
The Vulcan ambassador takes Enterprise on a secret mission to negotiate with the Romulans. I like how we only see Data’s perspective of this mission, and we have to figure out whats going on from that. I mean, it’s not that hard to figure out. One of the few times a Vulcan shows up, shes going on a secret mission to meet up with the villains that look kind of like Vulcans. But how it’s done is still cool
We hear from O’Brien that the transporter is malfunctioning while trying to beam the ambassador over. She (gasp) dies!!
Data is put in charge of figuring out what happened with the transporter. He figures out she didn’t really die, and that the Romulans transported her over.
Enterprise goes to get her back, but they find out she’s a Romulan spy. The Romulans de-cloak some more ships and Picards like SEEYA.
Then Keiko and O’Brien get married and will never have an argument again.
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